I need a door recommendation

I know this is an oxymoron but I am looking for a decent pocket door for a half bath. I'm moving a few things around and the bath door will be on a wall in the foyer right at the bottom of the steps. The half bath will be fairly narrow, around 32", so the door can't swing in.
Most of the other doors in the house are masonite genuine-imitation six panel doors but none of them ar within eyeshot of where this pocket door will be. The foyer has hardwood floors and the bath will be tiled.
I won't have a problem if the framing of the wall the pocket door goes in ends up being wider than 3.5". I could easily go to 5.5" or whatever is needed.
To me it would be ideal if the pocket door also had a bottom track to keep the door from slopping around.
So, is there such a thing as a decent pocket door?
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Tradeoffs. There are a number of pocket door hardware manufacturers, Johnson being one. http://www.johnsonhardware.com But if I'm looking for a higher quality sliding door, pocket or no, I usually go with doors that roll on tracks. Again, tradeoffs - the rolling doors can be a bit noisier (usually only a concern if the door is on the second floor), and slightly more attention must be paid to keeping the track clean and clear. http://www.cabinetmakerssupply.com/sheave_track_14_cabinet_sheaves_and_track_3611_prd1.htm
R
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On Wed, 30 Mar 2011 08:12:54 -0700 (PDT), RicodJour

I will second the opinion of Johnson door hardware. I used Johnson 400 wheel sets on the pocket doors I made from some PVC shutters I got for free. They use 4 rollers on a track that keeps the swinging to a minimum, even though I do not have any guides. Typically pocket doors do get base guides where they come out of the wall but my shutter/doors do not go all the way to the floor.
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I'm intrigued by the sheave & track link you posted. I do see how cleanliness could be a problem especially with two kids. Who knows what they may shove in the slot between the door and the split jam.
I would think that with the Johnson hardware I could add the wheel at the bottom if I wanted to. You could probably even remove the door without taking the trim off be releasing the clips at the top. If this is true then cleaning the track or removing some offending toy shoved in there wouldn't be too much trouble.
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I like the floor tracks as they add more flexibility and are another tool in the arsenal. I had one project, a bathroom under the rafters, and we wanted to put in sliding closet doors as any swing doors would be a problem in the tight space. Since the doors were to be 15 light french style doors, cutting them down enough to allow a top track and still have them look good was not possible. The sheaves and track were just the ticket. I built up a custom header track that was sloped to follow the roof and bolted that to the rafters. I used some metal patina from my stained glass work to change the brass track to a dark bronze to match the rest of the oil-rubbed brown hardware and plumbing in the bathroom. Worked out well.

Most pocket door problems start with the installation. You don't want wheels on a track at top and bottom. That will cause problems. Pick either one and go with it. Do your research and have at it. It'll be fine.
R
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On Wed, 30 Mar 2011 11:54:51 -0700 (PDT), RicodJour

would not make such a blanket statement
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On Mar 30, 5:25pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Right. Of course. Some jury-rigged job site mixed hardware solution will work as well as a door developed commercially for production and manufactured in a factory. Good point.
BTW, I'm not familiar with any patio doors that have rollers top and bottom. Who makes them?
R
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On Wed, 30 Mar 2011 07:46:52 -0700 (PDT), Limp Arbor

door you want on it. Don't have any manufacturer names, but there are pocket doors with a "track" on the bottom inside the wall to guide the bottom of the door and keep it running true.
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On Wed, 30 Mar 2011 07:46:52 -0700 (PDT), Limp Arbor

One thing you can do that makes pocket doors seem higher quality is to use a solid slab door rather than hollow. The extra weight gives it a quality feel and it slides smoother and blocks noise better. It does require track hardware that is rated for the weight though. On a narrow door it's not a big deal.
When I did my half bath, I made a custom threshold for under the door that had slightly raised sides that essentially created a track to capture the bottom of the door so it didn't swing at all. I got a lot of compliments on how solid and smooth that door was. I needed a threshold anyway because of transition between floor materials, so it was simple to build in a bottom guide track. My track kit came with a little guide designed to prevent the door from swinging, but I liked the solid feel of the full length guide.
Two other tips. I bought two track kits (they weren't very expensive compared to the cost of the job) so I could double up the thin half studs that support the walls, putting them on 8" centers. Those thin studs are pretty flimsy. I needed to stick with standard wall thickness. If you are willing to build a thicker wall you can use 2x4's mounted sideways to get extra beef.
Finally, screw, rather than nail the trim pieces that need to be removed to remove the door. Makes it much easier to do repairs if needed. I used small head trim screws covered with color matched putty and you could hardly see them.
You can have a quality pocket door, it just takes a little custom work.
HTH,
Paul F.
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wrote:

I was thinking the same thing. I'll probably get a solid six panel pine door.
Then the question becomes try to stain it to match the floor? Stain it a complimentary shade? Paint it white? Let SWMBO decide?

I watched the video on Johnson's website and they show they little triangle pieces at the bottom to keep the door from swinging. Having never done this I would assume the door needs to stay a little proud of the jam so it stays engaged on those triangles.
When you made your guide/threshold did you leave it long and incorporate it into the framing so when the door is open the door remains engaged in the 'track'?

I'm going to have to build a thicker wall because the 'pocket' won't be much deeper than the wall. The half bath will only be around 7' by 32" with the door roughly midway on the 7' wall so I won't have much remaining wall to help stiffen it up. I'm even considering using plywood behind the drywall to make a sturdier wall.

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Those little triangles extend back a little ways into the opening. The door should be totally flush with the split jamb when it's installed correctly.
R
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On Thu, 31 Mar 2011 10:58:16 -0700 (PDT), RicodJour

daughter the door should extend just into the wall when fully closed
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On Mar 31, 8:25pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I'm not quite sure what that means..."should extend _just_ into the wall"...? Do you mean it should just project into the opening a little bit? If so, why? There's an edge pull on a pocket door - there's no functional reason to have the door project at all into the opening when the door is fully recessed.
You mentioned in an earlier post about many patio doors having rollers top and bottom, and I said I wasn't familiar with any. Help me out - which ones are you talking about?
R
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On Thu, 31 Mar 2011 19:28:53 -0700 (PDT), RicodJour

You are reading me backwards. I said when the door is fully CLOSED the edge of the door is still inside the wall. When OPEN the opening is totally clear. In other words, a 24" opening uses a 25" door with a minimum 25" pocket.

wood-framed patio door in our friend's Viceroy cottage (about 30 years old). No idea what make. The wood framed patio door removed from another friend's house also had rollers top and bottom from what I remember. EXTREMELY smooth running - unlike the new vinyl door that replaced it. House is about 45 years old and the door was original.
I also remember several 4 roller doors that were replaced when I worked for 2 different window and door contractors a number of years back.
Peachtree doors used top rollers, and I believe Guaranteed Products did as well. I think their hardware was D.H.Laurence stuff, but not sure. Some of them were horizontal rollers, not vertical - but at least a few were vertical, set up like the screen doors but considerably heavier.
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On Mar 31, 11:07pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

That makes more sense than the first draft.

A 25" door...ummm, where exactly are you supposed to get that? Cut it down from a 28" door or special order it? ;)

I checked all three of the manufacturers that you mentioned and none of them makes either a patio door, or hardware for a patio door, that has vertical rollers top and bottom. Laurence makes horizontal roller guides for the top of doors, and some sliding screen doors have spring loaded top rollers, but the post of mine that you commented on has nothing to do with either of those.
I informed the OP about sheaves rolling on a bottom track, and his other option for a pocket door is the standard top-hung door with rollers on a track. Attempting to use both a top and bottom track with rollers would bind the door as there would be no allowance for play. It would also increase the time, cost and effort to install a simple door. In light of all that, I'm not really sure what you were referring to in correcting my "blanket statement".
R
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On Thu, 31 Mar 2011 21:09:27 -0700 (PDT), RicodJour

top, just like the padio screen doors and I believe that;s the way the cottage door is and the one removed from my friend's place.. As I said, no idea who made them, and the one that was removed is now long gone so I cannot check it. Quite possibly nobody is doing it any more - the one's I've seen that were definitely top and bottom are all 40 or more years old now. (and all in Canada - although not necessarily Canadian made)
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On Thu, 31 Mar 2011 06:20:47 -0700 (PDT), Limp Arbor

The plastic guides (IIRC) wrap around the edge of the jamb a little so they will guide the door even when it is flush with the jamb when fully open (which looks best IMO).

I'll try to describe better. I had tile in the bath and sheet vinyl in the hall outside; the transition between them was right under the door. Imagine taking a 1 x 6 and laying it flat underneath the door (over the seam between flooring types in my case) running from jamb to jamb. Then bevel the edges a little so one doesn't catch one's foot on it. Cut the door so it is no more than about 1/4" above the 1x6. Now add two 1x1 strips on top of the 1x6, one on each side of the door so they form a "track" for the whole bottom edge of the door.
Now I actually used 3/8" thick stock (not 1x) making the total thickness only 3/4", so it wasn't a trip hazard, but you get the picture I hope. And if you don't have a flooring seam to cover, you can get by with only the two pieces that form the track.

I was adding to an existing wall so I didn't have that option without doing a lot more demo, but you'll be fine if you can get 2x4's in sideways on 16" centers. If you're really concerned, go to 12" centers. I think plywood's more trouble than it's worth. Remember there won't be a bottom plate under the door, so the studs have to be fastened only to the floor.
And the #1 thing to get right: make sure your drywall screws are short so they don't go through the framing into the door!
Paul F.

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On Wed, 30 Mar 2011 07:46:52 -0700 (PDT), Limp Arbor

Did you every live in NYC?
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